How to Leave your Job Gracefully


Whether you're racked with nerves or a bit over-excited about resigning, hopefully, the following tips will help.


With bonus pay day for most people being either very recent or imminent, and the opportunities out there for junior bankers being many and varied, the big day for a lot of people will be in the offing.

For the majority of us, this will be much less dramatic. Nonetheless resigning is something that most of us only get to do only a couple of times in our lives, so when the time comes it’s difficult not to fantasise about flouncing out leaving some sort of (proverbial, not literal) dirty protest but whatever your beliefs, Karma and Newton’s Third Law are both strong arguments not to act out these scenarios.

Whether you’re racked with nerves or a bit over-excited about resigning, hopefully, the following tips will help:

Be sure you want to leave

Once you’ve told your company that you have accepted an offer from another firm, they will no longer trust you. Even if they convince you to stay, the resignation could come back to haunt you in years to come.

If it’s a pay-rise or promotion you’re after, there are other, better ways to get there.

Play by the rules

Getting out unscathed depends on you following the correct procedure – resigning to the wrong person could result in a longer notice period, which your future employer won’t be keen on. Stealing confidential information or company property (even by accident) will toast your reputation. Check your company intranet or employment contract for guidelines.

Have some empathy for your boss

You’ve been planning this conversation for weeks or months, but this will be the first your boss has heard of it. Their reaction is impossible to predict given that it will be influenced not just by your news but by whatever else is going on at the time, so don’t take anything (anger, resentment, apathy…) personally.

Less is more

Whilst it’s tempting to launch into a diatribe about the ineptitude of your line manager, the laziness of your peers etc., there’s really no point. Focussing on the positives of your experience with your current firm and the plus points of the role you’re moving to will help maintain the relationship with the firm you’re leaving and enable them to understand and respect your reasons. You never know when you’ll come across people again (as a colleague or client!). “It’s not you, it’s me” can be a useful phrase in other areas of life: now is the time to dust that platitude off!

Don’t get sloppy

OK, so the dream scenario is that your key card and Blackberry are confiscated and you’re marched out of the door to enjoy three months of gardening leave. Out of necessity (or spite) you may be kept in the office. The temptation is clearly to kick back and do the bare minimum, but this can make you a figure of resentment, so don’t give in. 

Whatever happens – best of luck! If you’re not quite there yet and are looking for something new, take a look at our roles and get in touch.

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